Required Disclosures When Selling Your Home
People who are selling their residential real estate have the legal duty to disclose certain information to potential buyers so that buyers may make an educated decision regarding the purchase. If you do not make the required disclosures or if you falsely represent the condition of your property, the buyer may have the right to completely rescind the deal for the sale.
In most situations, sellers of residential property must make disclosures on the required form1 regarding the following:
- Clear title
- Your legal right to sell the property with no caveats
- Type of sewage disposal system used
- Type of water used
- Age of the building and any structural defects
- Which fixtures and systems are included in the sale
- Any Homeowner's Association requirements
- Flooding or drainage problems
- Environmental damage to the property, such as earthquakes or fires
- Anything else that you believe should be disclosed
Note there are certain additional disclosures required for mobile homes, manufactured homes, or property near a farm. Disclosures must also be made for residential land even if no homes or residential structures have been built. Commercial real estate owners are not covered by disclosure laws in Washington.
Disclosures are not required under Washington law2 if for the following types of ownership transfers:
· A foreclosure
· From one spouse to another as part of a divorce
· As a gift to a child, spouse, or parent
· As part of a bankruptcy or probate administration
· When the buyer had any type of ownership interest in the property in the previous two years
· When the buyer has waived the disclosure requirement
Washington real estate laws can be complicated though it is always important that you comply with all relevant laws to make sure your real estate transaction goes through as smoothly as possible. The real estate attorneys at the Dickson Law Group out of Seattle and Tacoma have a thorough understanding of state real estate laws as they apply to each individual case. We can advise both buyers and sellers of their legal duties and rights in a real estate transaction.
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